Measuring Social Media (and some webinar best practices!)

I sign up for webinars frequently (I’m an easy mark for those “free webinar” offers – they’re making a bundle on me!) Often I don’t actually *attend* the webinar I signed up for (which webinar providers will tell you is common among free registrants…), but I do often save and view later so I can “speed through” at my leisure *or* listen while I’m doing something else.

Today, though, I actually signed on to listen to a webinar and paid attention to *most* of it and found much of the info very, very helpful. One image in particular that I thought did an exceptional job of summing up issues related to how you might measure the impact of social media. The webinar was presented by VerticalResponse, a company I’ve recently become familiar with through a few clients that I work with who use the tool and so far I’ve been favorably impressed — by the tool and, today, by the value of their free webinar.

  • It wasn’t a sales pitch!
  • It offered practical, valuable, actionable information.
  • The presenter recommended other tools (not obviously affiliated with VerticalResponse), representing a combination of free and paid options.
  • Well done VerticalResponse!

But, back to the chart on measuring social media:

It separates out the various types of measurement you might do by the stage the consumer may be at in the purchase process: awareness, influence, engagement, action – and how you might measure their involvement at each of these stages. I like this because these *are* the key stages of involvement that communicators attempt to influence through their communication activities. Smart communicators will think strategically about how they do this, in the proper order, with the right audiences. Even smarter communicators will institute some of these measurements along the way.

AWARENESS:  traffic, followers, subscribers, page likes, reach

INFLUENCE:  inbound links, retweeted content, posts commented on, content shared, Klout/PeerIndex

ENGAGEMENT: post likes, mentions, comments, retweets, photo/video views, clicks

ACTION: store visits, purchases, downloads, form submission, registrations

Importantly, the really, really smart communicators will focus on the two streams at the end of the consumer engagement cycle: engagement and action. So instead of counting number of followers (a measure of awareness), they’ll measure number of requests for a white paper that was offered, or number of leads generated or even number of sales generated.

I bet Vertical Response is measuring the results of this webinar and a double-bet that they’ll find their effort was successful based on all four categories of measurement: awareness, influence,  engagement, action.

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